S T R A W B E R R Y   P I E  -  P A R T   2
A N   I N V O L U N T A R Y   S P R I N G   P I E
[Em Português]

For the second part of the strawberry pie post, this article was already written when I assembled the pie so I took the liberty of adapting the recipe even further.
Winter is over here in Brazil, spring has just begun and the days are super warm (and it will only get worse… ahah). I wanted a fresher pie so I added passion fruit, lemon zest, mint and sliced almonds, which coincided with the first day of spring. We decided to make some pizzas and invited some friends over to taste the pie, which resulted in an involuntary party. A tip: unless you have an external oven, do not do pizza on a really hot day. Or put the table on the balcony!

Pâte Sucree
Yield 1.1kg of dough: 3 pies of 26-28cm or 5 pies of 24cm
Recipes from Pierre Hermé, slightly adapted, from the book Chefs

3 3/4 cups (500g) of all-purpose flour
2 pinches of sea salt - if you don’t have it, use common salt
300g of butter, at room temperature, cut into pieces - Always use unsalted butter to make pastry; today you can find it in any supermarket
1/4 teaspoon of seeds taken from 1/2 vanilla bean -  as vanilla is very expensive here, sometimes I do it without it because you can feel and taste the vanilla in the pastry cream
1 1/4 cup (190g) of icing sugar
1/2 cup + 1/2 tablespoon (60g) grounded almonds
2 eggs

1. Sift the flour into a large bowl and mix with the salt. Add the butter pieces and knead it with the fingertips until there are no butter traits.
2. In another bowl, mix vanilla, icing sugar and almond. Add it to the previous bowl.
3. Make a hollow in the middle of the mixture and break the eggs there. Incorporate it gradually with the help of a fork until you can do the work by hand. Mix the dough only until smooth, don’t over do it, so it will have a crispy texture when eaten.
4. Form a ball, flatten it slightly to make it easier to open then wrap in PVC film  and put it in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours, until firm. If you leave it for an overnight is even better, it is easier to open when cold.

Cooling allows it to relax and get soft and prevents cracking when opened.

Opening the dough
When I was a kid pies were opened stretching the dough into a baking pan with your fingers. Over time I began to open it with a rolling pin. The result is a more homogeneous dough, but do as you like.
The dough may be a little hard to open. If you have no experience opening dough and is using a roll, flour the work surface well or, if you want, open it between two sheets of parchment paper. Remember to lift the sheet from above, from time to time, to avoid creases in the dough.

1. Grease the pan with butter.
2. Sprinkle the dough with flour and spread it evenly on a floured surface until 3-5mm thick.
3. Slide a spatula under the extended mass to release it if you stuck.
4. Carefully remove excess flour with a dry brush.
5. Roll half the dough on rolling pin, raising it to fit the rim of the pan.
6. Once again remove excess flour and roll the dough from the rolling pin on the form.
7. Lightly press the dough, snapping it in the pan, on the sides and above it. If it is a low form or ring for baking pies, pass the roller over to cut off the excess, otherwise cut it with a knife. The height of the pie should be somewhere between 2.5 cm and 3 cm.
8. With a fork, make holes in the whole length of the dough and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Baking the pie bottom
To prevent the dough to get out of shape when baking, you can follow the following process:
1. Cut a sheet of baking paper slightly larger than the rim of the shape of the pie. Bend the disc in the direction of circle radius several times until a narrow triangle, and then make small vertical cuts around the edges with scissors. These cuts serve to adjust the paper within the form.
2. Straighten the dough within the form. Cover the bottom and sides of the dough with the previously prepared paper. The edges of the paper should be larger than the edge of the shape. Fill the tart with dried beans.
3. Preheat the oven to 180ºC. Take the dough in the oven and bake for 18-20 minutes - it will be partially baked. To finish baking it, remove the beans and parchment paper and return the dough to the oven.
4. Continue baking until the pastry is golden, about 6-7 minutes. Let it cool on a wire rack. Remove the ring before or after filling, according to the recipe instructions.

The balance of this dough is defined by the amount of eggs, if you want to do less, you can divide the quantities in half (do not try other fractions), but I recommend doing the whole recipe. This could end up making left over dough.
The dough is good for up to 5 days in the refrigerator. It can also be frozen into balls with the individual amount for each pie. Defrost the day before you’ll use it, but don’t work it before opening it again with the roller. Always good to have dough ready in the freezer, facilitates the work when you want to eat pies or you have to do some last minute dessert.
I like to do butter cookies whenever I have a little bit of spare dough; it’s great. Just open the dough and cut with a cutter or a knife, square 3 by 3cm. I devoured those made from a last bit of crème pâtissière while taking the pie pictures!

Strawberry pie - Assembly
Yield 1 pie, 28cm.

1 passion fruit
Zest of 1 lemon
Shelled almonds, plate and toasted
Mint leaves

Take the bottom of the baked pie and fill with pastry cream.
Arrange the fruit and almonds as it sees best over the pie.
I cut the strawberries into slices and even set in concentric circles over the pie. Got the passion fruit pulp and passed through a sieve, dripped the liquid over the pie and then put some seeds as well. Added lemon zest and mint leaves torn by hand. I finished roasting some flaked almonds in the pan, and after cool, sprinkled them on the pie.
You can sift a thin layer of icing sugar on the pie slice when you serve it, since the pie is not too sweet.

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